A Woodworker’s Notebook
Jeff Gorman
Why Use A Marking Knife?

You can hear people discussing whether to split the line or not. When they do, they must be discussing a pencil line. If this kind of precision is needed, they might be better to use a marking knife. Then there's no doubt or cause for error.

Pencil lines have their appropriate places of course.

Some people avoid cutting lines because mistakes are difficult to remove. All the same the work will be better for using a knife.

There's only one place to put your chisel when working to a cut line.
A view of a piece of soft hardwood sawn to reveal the cleanly-cut witness marks left by the knife as it passed around the perimeter of the workpiece. Note that the saw has nearly gone over the line at the bottom left-hand corner of the pic.
Having witness marks, workers can know exactly where to stop when working a surface. The marking gauge also leaves similar marks.
A line knifed all round this piece would have ensured a cleaner finish to the sawcut.
The very first stroke of a tenon saw.
The saw cut started a little to the right of the line, but the wood fibres break away as far as the line. This means that you drift the saw into the tiny rebate that has been formed.
When you make a knife peck, the knife is positively and securely located. This means that you can slide the square, for example, up to the knife and then strike a line.
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